“In a report that has been picked up by various European news outlets, Affleck told the press at the London premiere of his new film Hollywoodland, “By playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero. … Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn’t want to do again soon.” “
It’s helpful to remember that, in context, Affleck is offering these thoughts in relation to his most-recent boxoffice dud, “Hollywoodland,” in which he plays doomed TV “Superman” George Reeves. However, myself and IGN can’t be the only ones who find it kind of, well… “huh?” that Affleck is this regretful over appearing in a not-great superhero flick when he’s done so much worse elsewhere. “Gigli?” “Survivng Christmas?” “Jersey Girl?” “Paycheck?” Let’s get real here: Wearing Daredevil’s horns didn’t kill this man’s career, wearing Jennifer Lopez’s leash did.
Part of this goes to (at least partially) illuminating just why “Hollywoodland” eventually didn’t work despite decent-enough acting from all involved. The film failed, ultimately, to address the central irony of Reeves’ tragedy: The irony that his Superman performance, even if he never took it very seriously… his embodiment of the icon so captivated the audience that it eventually consumed him. It approached the material with the tired, old-guard, “serious actors beware!!!” elitist skew that Reeves was degraded by “Superman’s” silliness, when it now strikes me that he was more-accurately eclipsed by “Superman’s” pop-culture godhood.
Even taking Affleck at his word here, it’s likely that the specific dwelling on “Daredevil” as a source of scorn is very much intentional: The same old-guard that still makes the rules on the “high-art/low-art” division also march in lockstep to the “Hollywoodland” vision of such material. Every scrap of dwindling hope they can get that the Geek Age of Cinema isn’t here to stay is ambrosia to them, and this sort of quip coming from an actor is usually designed to appeal to them so that “______ is back to making real films again!” becomes part of the reviews.